Center City District bond and TIF update // Alice Dreger

There’s good financial news emerging on the Center City District project — the strict cost-control measures put in place by now-Mayor Ruth Beier and her colleagues on Council in 2017 turn out to be stricter than we had realized. In 2017, the TIF was effectively reduced by Council from a $56M cap to a $50M cap!

Combined with the new valuation method from tax assessor David Lee for big apartment buildings, this means that the Center City TIF will pay off years earlier than … Read more →

Fiscal Options for East Lansing // Ron Fisher

I have already commented about the East Lansing tax proposal arguing that the imposition of a City income tax or an increase in the property tax are inherently limited as a solution to the City’s fiscal issues. The main point is that the City is relatively small and surrounded by similar suburban communities with essentially equivalent access to major employers, making it relatively easy for individuals and businesses to select locations outside the City.

The point of this comment is the City has … Read more →

Public Purpose Must Be Commensurate with Cost // Eliot Singer

I am trying to push state legislators on development authority reforms, using East Lansing as the poster-child for how to do public-private development wrong.

One of the key reforms needs to be requiring all brownfield projects or DDA expenditures provide a detailed breakdown, including financials, of what the public purposes are in relation to tax diversion and other costs, and also requiring a strong procedure for objective assessment. Currently, all government has to do is wave a magic wand and say, there’s a public … Read more →

Fwd: Community Engagement on City Finances Is Needed and Welcomed, And An Offer of Snow Removal Help // Nancy Cuddeback

City Council Hosting Community Engagement Meetings In the face of ongoing, significant financial challenges, East Lansing City Council will be hosting community engagement meetings to gather public input on the City of East Lansing’s budget priorities this January.

The meetings, facilitated by Public Sector Consultants, will take place on the following dates at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road:

§ Wednesday, Jan. 10 from 6-8 p.m. in the Executive Conference Room

§ Thursday, Jan. 18 from 7-9 p.m. in the Banquet Hall

These meetings will provide East … Read more →

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